The Hamburg School Board reviewed survey responses from the public meeting held on Sept. 26, and discussed the proposed building project with facility committee members at the October School Board meeting.
Hamburg School District Superintendent Mike Wells shared a summary of the survey responses with the board, saying that responses had been very positive about the direction the school was taking and plans for the future.  
The survey was available to all of the 75 people who attended the public meeting, though not all of the attendees responded, and some left out some questions.  
The survey asked 10 questions, one concerning each section of the 5-year Strategic Plan that was covered that night, and  a few extras concerning ways to contact people, what grades they think should be taught in Hamburg, and whether they would support a referendum to renovate current classrooms and add a secondary wing to the school.  
Comments on the separate sections of the strategic plan were nearly all positive, and the board focused on the two questions of most concern to a future vote on a general obligation bond.
For the question, “I would like Hamburg Schools to be:  PreK-6, PreK-8, or PreK-12”, responses were 7 percent for PreK-6; 36 percent for PreK-8, and 57 percent for PreK-12.  Some people commented that they wanted a high school but didn’t think it feasible, or thought it would have to be later down the road.
For the question, “Do you support a referendum to renovate all classrooms and build a secondary wing on our building?”, responses were Yes-90 percent and No-10 percent.  Comments against the referendum were that the addition was not needed, that there weren’t enough kids, or that the district needed to slow down and watch enrollment numbers first.
The board was encouraged by the positive responses and the members of the facility committee (made up of school district citizens) made plans to form a citizens’ YES committee to inform the people of the school district, promote the bond issue and obtain signatures on a petition to put the matter up for vote. Persons interested in being on the YES committee are encouraged to contact Darren Hendrickson.
If enough citizens of the Hamburg School District sign a Petition for a Special Election for a general obligation bond, the school will put the matter on the February ballot to be voted upon.
Wells said he would be talking to the district’s attorney this week and would have a detailed timeline by next week regarding deadlines for a February vote.
Certified enrollment numbers for the 2016-2017 year were reviewed, showing a total of 171 students in grades PreK-8 being educated in Hamburg.  Wells was happy with this number, saying they thought they would be lucky to get to 130 students.  These numbers do not include the high school students tuitioned out to Sidney.
Wells provided an overview of upcoming events and grants he planned to apply for.  He will be applying for a 21st Century grant for the middle school in the amount of $50,000.  He will also apply for a Farm to School grant in the amount of $100,000, which will be used for planning and coordinating  the buying of local produce.
The school has ordered an 18 foot by 24 foot heated greenhouse and an aquaponics system which combines aquaculture and hydroponics, with a tank of Tilapia fish providing waste which provides nutrients to the plants in grow beds.  The Board debated where to place that greenhouse, taking into consideration a possible new wing to the school.  Wells will consider possible locations and provide the Board with a plan.
Wells said scuba diving classes were going well, and the three adult and eight student class members would attend their check-out dive in Mermett Springs, Ill.  Nov 3rd-6th.
On Oct. 14, teaching staff, Wells and a few students will travel to Creston to present at the Tech Conference. The Hamburg School District has also been selected to present at the Iowa Association of School Board State Convention in late November, and students will present on the Farm School.
In sports, football season is coming to an end, with one game left. Wells said the team had no wins yet, but was learning a lot. The volleyball and cross-country teams are doing very well, and the middle school cross-country team will compete in Ankeny on Oct. 15.
Basketball begins Oct. 25, and 12 games are scheduled.  Jordan Hayes will coach the boys; the school is still seeking a girls’ basketball coach, and if no coach is found they will not have a girls’ team.  Whenever possible, the school hopes to hold boys/girls double headers to save time and money.
Wrestling begins Feb. 10 and will be coached by Joseph Heitshusen.  The season will be a short one, ending in March.
The Board approved amendment or signing of five contracts as follows:
n removal of term “bus route pay” from Brenda Leonard’s contract, replacing with “$10 per hour”;
n new contract with Les Buttermore to transport NWMSU students to and from Marnie Simons at $10 per hour;
Amendment of the wage in Spanish teacher Spencer Baldwin’s contract to $20 per hour;
Amendment of Alpha School contract, and
Amendment of Brenda Brandt’s contract.
In other business:
A Special Education deficit of $28,443 was approved;
Steve Howe donated a pig to the farm school, and two more will be coming in future;
One verbal request for open enrollment out was discussed but not acted on as no paperwork was filed;
A bid of $26,121 by Meyer Chevrolet of Shenandoah for a special education van was approved;
The gymnasium floor will be resurfaced Oct. 14-Oct. 16 and unavailable for any activities.
The School Board presidents and Superintendents of Hamburg, Sidney and Shenandoah schools will meet on Oct. 18 to discuss ways to work together, and the next Hamburg School Board meeting will be Nov. 14.